No. 33. Report of Brigadier General John W. Turner, U. S. Army, of operations of the First Brigade, May 9-10.
HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, TENTH ARMY CORPS, In the Field, May 11, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part Colonel Alford's brigade, of my division, took in the operations of the 9th and 10th:
In compliance with instructions, I moved from camp at 4.30 on the morning of the 9th, taking the road to Chester Station, on the Petersburg and Richmond Railroad. My instructions were to follow immediately after General Ames' division till he should turn off to the left. I was then to proceed on and strike the railroad on the right of General Ames' position and near Chester Station. This was accomplished without opposition from the enemy, my forces arriving at Chester Station a little after 10 a.m. Work was immediately commenced destroying the station buildings, railroad attack track, and telegraph wire. Shortly after my arrival orders were received through Brigadier General R. S. Foster, chief of staff for Major-General Gillmore, to move rapidly with my command down the railroad toward Swift Creek, with the view of forming on the right of the Eighteenth Army Corps in front of that stream. My column reached the Petersburg and Richmond turnpike about 3 p.m., and was held in column on that road until nearly dark, when it was placed in support of Heckman's brigade, of Weitzel's division, of the Eighteenth Corps, which was then engaged with the enemy immediately in front of Swift Creek. The brigade was held in this position until 8.30 o'clock next morning, when it was ordered to relieve General Heckman's brigade. It got into position about 10 o'clock, and shortly after I was ordered by Major-General Gillmore to retire, and that my forces wound constitute the rear guard. This was accomplished without attracting the attention of the enemy or his discovering our movement till we had withdrawn some 2 miles to the rear. No attempt was made at pursuit. The brigade reached camp at 8.30 p.m. on the 10th. Two casualties only occurred.
I will here mention that as my pickets were returning from the line of Swift Creek a flag of truce was presented by the enemy, which being received by the officer on outpost without my orders, and discovering our retrograde movement, I deemed it justifiable to detain it for a few hours till our movement had been accomplished. The flag bore only a verbal message for the parole of wounded prisoners and the burial of their dead, which was forwarded for the action of the major-general commanding. Before an answer was received, however, from him the communication borne by the flag was withdrawn in consequence of its detention and a protest entered. The flag was detained till the information of our movements to the enemy was of no longer any consequence, when it was relieved, which was about 4 p.m. I will make further mention that the enemy in no wise slackened his fire from his battery enfilading the turnpike when his flag was presented, and his projectiles fell in immediate proximity when it was received.
I forward herewith the report of Colonel S. M. Alford, commanding brigade, engaged in the operations.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. W. TURNER,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Second Division.
Brigadier General R. S. FOSTER,
Chief of Staff, Tenth Army Corps.
No. 34. Reports of Colonel Samuel M. Alford, Third New York Infantry, commanding First Brigade, of operations May 9-16.
HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, SECOND DIV., TENTH ARMY CORPS, In the Field,
May 11, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that pursuant to instructions from headquarters Second Division, Tenth Army Corps, this brigade